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Illinois Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murdering 7-Year-old Niece

A southern Illinois man will spend life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of his seven-year-old niece.

As part of a negotiated plea agreement, 22-year-old Justin DeRyke of Watson, Illinois pleaded guilty to first degree murder Tuesday in the stabbing death of seven-year-old Willow Long in September of 2013.

DeRyke told investigators he killed his niece to "put her out of her misery" after she fell onto a brush pile and pierced her neck.

During a massive search, her body was found wrapped in plastic at a remote location south of her hometown of Watson.